[Mailman-Users] Mailman admin question

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Thu Apr 21 21:02:01 CEST 2011

Ognen Duzlevski wrote:
>I have not played much with mailman but I am curious about something. I
>inherited a machine that runs mailman and one of the lists is setup through
>postfix aliases to do the following:
>blah-subscribe /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe blah
>blah-join /usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join blah

Actually, I suspect those aliases look like

blah-subscribe: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe blah"
blah-join: "|/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join blah"

>How do I find out what "mailman join blah" resolves to? I guess my question
>is ultimately - where do I look to find out who gets the join and subscribe

The MTA processes that alias by piping the message to say 'blah-join'
to the command '/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join blah'.
/usr/lib/mailman/mail/mailman is a wrapper which will ultimately
deliver the message in this case to a script named (probably)
/usr/lib/mailman/scripts/join which in turn will queue the message for
Mailman's CommandRunner which will ultimately process the subscription

>For fun I subscribed to the "blah" list and never received a
>reply. I looked at the mail logs on the same machine and found an entry
>along the lines of:
>Apr 19 20:19:07 (242320 blah: pending <name> <email> <ip>

That specific entry looks like an entry from Mailman's 'subscribe' log
which says the subscription request for the blah list was received via
the web from <ip> and a confirmation request was sent to <email> and
Mailman is waiting for the user to confirm. If in fact it had an IP
address, it resulted from a web subscribe and had nothing to do with
an email to blah-join.

If you didn't receive the confirmation request, check the MTA logs to
see what happened to it.

Also, check the MTA logs to see what happened to the mail to blah-join.

>There are a bunch of lines below mentioning other users subscribing to the
>same list and their requests being approved.
>I realize each machine can be set up differently to process mail but
>ultimately I am curious as to what mailman join <list name> actually does.

As described above, it causes Mailman to process the message as a
request from the sender to join <list name>.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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